Tawfiq al- Hakim

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hakim, Tawfiq al-


Born Oct. 9, 1898, in Alexandria. Arab (Egyptian) writer and public figure. Member of the Academy for the Arabic Language in Cairo.

Tawfiq al-Hakim graduated from the Higher School of Law in Cairo in 1924 and later studied European literature and art in Paris. From 1927 to 1934 he was a court investigator. He worked in the Ministry of Culture and Information until 1939 and in the Ministry of Education until 1943. In 1959 and 1960 he was Egypt’s representative at UNESCO.

Tawfiq al-Hakim wrote patriotic poetry and the anglophobic play The Uninvited Guest (1918). He was the author of the first socially oriented novel of everyday life in modern Arabic literature, Return of the Spirit (1933; Russian translation, 1935), and of the realistic novella Notes of a Provincial Inspector (1937; Russian translation, 1959). Influenced by Maeterlinck, Ibsen, and Shaw, Tawfiq al-Hakim wrote the romantic and symbolist dramas The Cave-dweller (1933), Scheherezade (1934), Pygmalion (1942), and Journey to Tomorrow (1950), which were termed intellectual theater. The Flutist (1934) and The Deal (1956; Russian translation, 1960) were socially oriented plays dealing with everyday life. He also wrote many short stories, sketches, and philosophical essays.

Tawfiq al-Hakim upholds the principles of realist art, although he uses varied literary forms and is influenced by many trends. In the 1960’s he condemned imperialism and war and supported progressive reforms in the Arab countries. He received the State Literary Prize of Egypt in 1961.


Qisas Tawfiq al-Hakim, parts 1–2. Cairo, 1949.
Sijn al-’umr. Cairo, 1964.
Qalabuna al-masrahi. Cairo, 1968.
Majlis al-’adl. Cairo, 1972.
’A wdat al-wa’y. Cairo, 1974.
In Russian translation:
In the collection Mesto na zemle. Moscow, 1957.
In the collection Vostochnyi al’manakh, fasc. 1. Moscow, 1957.
In the collection Rasskazy pisatelei Vostoka. Leningrad, 1958.
In the collection Sovremennaia arabskaia proza. Moscow, 1961.
In the collection Shest’ ginei. Moscow, 1964.


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Borisov, V. M. Sovremennaia egipetskaia proza. Moscow, 1961.
Usmanov, N. K. “Problematika ’intellektual’nogo teatra’ Taufika al’-Khakima.” In the collection Arabskaia filologiia. [Moscow] 1968.
Iunusov, K. O. “O prirode simvolizma i romantizma v dramaturgii Taufika al’-Khakima.” Uch. zap. LGU, 1974, no. 374.
Iunusov, K. O. Taufik al’-Khakim: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1968.
Papadopulo, A. Tewfik el-Hakim, pour notre terre. Cairo, 1958.
Shukri, Ghali. Thawrat al-mu’tazil, dirasah fi adab Tawfiq al-Hakim. Cairo, 1966.
al-Ra’i, ’Ali. Tawfiq al-Hakim fannan al-farja wa fannan al-fikr. Cairo, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.